Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The view from room 125 is at once limited and limitless. It is a basement room with no external windows to see what is going on outside. Simultaneously, it is filled with Windows-based computers, hooked up to the Internet, that allow us to see the entire world.

I have decided to start this blog because, after twenty years of teaching, I have some things I'd like to say and opinions I'd like to express. In this blog I will try to restrict myself to matters of education. The caveat to that is that education is part of the wider world, and so at times I will discuss matters that have only a tangential relationship to my main topic.

I started teaching in 1987 in a small, rural school in Russell County, AL. I taught seventh and eighth grades for my first 18 years. I also spent a few years as an adjunct English instructor at a local community college (1998-2005). For the last couple of years I have been teaching writing, mainly, to tenth graders, mainly. It has been interesting always, if not always enjoyable. But I think I turned a corner the last semester of last year. I am hopeful that it is the second wind that will give me enough energy to keep doing this for several more years at least.

I am also a fellow of the Sun Belt Writing Project, based at Auburn University, in Alabama. I did my first invitational summer institute in 1989 and they haven't been able to get rid of me since then. For the last several years I have been the technical liaison for our project. If you teach, especially (but not solely) language arts, I suggest you find a writing project in your area. There are over a hundred in spread out around the country. It can be a life-altering experience. Does that sound dramatic? Maybe so, but it doesn't make it any less true.

I am looking forward to writing this blog. I am an opinionated kind of guy, and it will be nice to have my own private little soapbox to be shouting into the void of the world wide web. Maybe some of what I write could even be illuminating--to myself if to no one else.

I am going to attempt to write in here at least once a week. I say attempt because once school gets going again, who knows where the time to do so will come from. Most likely it will come from the time I should allow for sleep.

Time to wrap this up for the moment. I look forward to expounding on the world as I see it.